"Weekend Update" Takes Aim at Obama

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and NFL replacement refs were also mocked on the show

By Emily Feldman
|  Friday, Sep 28, 2012  |  Updated 12:04 PM PDT
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The cast of "Saturday Night Live" poked at President Obama with a campaign trail spoof in which the incumbent, invoking “The Sixth Sense,” promised beleaguered supporters that he sees employed people.

 “I know you don’t see ‘em—don’t even know they’re there. But one day all of you will be Bruce Willis and you’ll realize you were employed all along.”

Far from the concentrated skewering Mitt Romney received last week, “Weekend Update Thursday” spread its attacks across various targets, from Obama and the NFL’s replacement refs to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose skilled impersonator—accompanied by a translator—sat for an interview with Seth Meyers.

President Obama, played by Jay Pharoah, kicked off the show by spewing upbeat slogans at a room full of pathetically down-and-out characters.

“Who here has a job?” Obama asked before calling one of the few people in the crowd who had raised a hand.

“What do you do sir?” he asked.

“I’m a manager at Burger King,” the man replied.

“There you go,” Obama said. “Having it your way. And where were you four years ago? Probably working the counter, right?”

“I was a vice president for Bank of America,” he said.

Other voters he called on included an apparent meth cook, a man who chased raccoons out of foreclosed homes and a woman who worked at an apple store.

“There you go!” Obama said. “One of America’s great companies, still growing.”

“Oh, I don’t work for the computer store, I sell actual apples,” she explained. “I have a shack by the highway. I sell mostly to immigrants and the occasional mule.”

Obama finally tried to level with the audience.

“Look, I know it hasn’t been easy. Not even for me. Look at me. I took office as a 47-year-old man. Four years later, I’m 75.”

The show moved on to the set of “Weekend Update” where host Seth Meyers commented on the end of the NFL’s referee lockout.

“It feels nice to say this again,” he said. “Good call!”

After running through the news of the week, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, played by Fred Armisen, was ushered on set with a translator (Nasim Pedrad).

“It is always so wonderful to visit New York City,” Ahmadinejad said through his translator. “I love people watching. My favorite game is homosexual or Jew. That’s where I guess if someone is either a homosexual or a Jew. I get most excited when someone is both.”

Pedrad’s character eventually threw in the towel and confessed to Meyers that she hates “translating for this guy ... He has no clue what’s happening. I mean look at him, He looks like he’s waiting for a bus outside a methadone clinic.”

As Ahmadinejad babbled on, apparently unaware that his translator had gone off the rails, she told Meyers that there’s no way Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

“That’s like saying you need Internet in your hotel room for email.”

Cornel West, played by Kenan Thompson, made an appearance on the show as well, spinning Meyers in circles with sing-songy, metaphor-laden responses to questions about his feelings for Obama.

“The president has promised us veracity, but has given us nothing but mendacity,” West said, pausing to note in a journal that he had used the word “mendacity.”

Girl at a Party (Cecily Strong) closed out the show with her take on the state of the world.

“People are angry Seth. Society is angry and sometimes it’s not angry enough,” she said. “Open your eyes people. War, hunger, diseases, it’s like, pick one.”

“Saturday Night Live” returns Oct. 6 with fresh fodder from the first of three presidential debates.

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